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European Union defence ministers unequivocally condemn Russia’s demands

14. January 2022 - 16:04

At the meeting of European Union Defence Ministers in France, Minister of Defence Kalle Laanet said that the defence ministers of the Member States of the European Union are unified in their views on the threat from Russia and have condemned Russia’s demands.

“There is a consensus in the European Union regarding Russia’s aggressive and escalating behaviour, and it is clear that the transatlantic security architecture will not be negotiated. Support for assisting Ukraine is equally strong, both politically and in terms of practical assistance,” said Minister of Defence Kalle Laanet. “The European Union has an important role to play in this crisis in the form of imposing necessary sanctions,” Laanet added.

“The consultations between Allies, in both NATO and the European Union, have been constructive and will certainly continue. Nothing will be decided without Estonia,” confirmed Laanet.

The minister added that the Allies are ready to continue talks with Russia at the NATO-Russia Council and the OSCE, but that Russia must immediately de-escalate military tensions along the Ukrainian border.

“Dialogue does not mean negotiations, rather talks to increase transparency and reduce the risk of miscalculation. However, Russia has no real desire to change its offensive military stance,” said Laanet.

The joint meeting of defence and foreign ministers focused on the strategic compass, which is expected to be adopted in March during the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

“Estonia supports the creation of the strategic compass that focuses on transatlantic ties and NATO collective defence, as well as the more efficient use of existing European Union Battlegroups and strengthening the role of civilian crisis management,” explained Minister Laanet. “Issues concerning military defence are discussed in NATO,” Kalle Laanet added.

The European Union Strategic Compass, launched in June 2020, is a comprehensive security initiative that aims to harmonise the understanding of the Member States of the European Union regarding security challenges and their role in responding to them.

Kalle Laanet also met with the ministers of defence of Latvia and Denmark, to discuss the regional security situation. The Estonian Minister of Defence thanked Denmark for its contribution to the security of the Baltic Sea region, including the decision to send a frigate and fighter jets to the region, and for its forthcoming contribution to the NATO Battlegroup in Tapa.

Estonia and other countries in the region also met with the French Minister of Defence.

The main topics of the meeting between defence ministers, representatives of NATO and the UN, were the European Union military missions, including the possible activities of Wagner in Mali, the concentration of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border, and the European Union space policy from the perspective of defence initiatives.

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